Cornell University has a studio for architecture students in New York City. Located in lower Manhattan. The 12,000 S.F. studio has about 3,000 S.F. dedicated to a multifunctional space that serves as reception, lounge, crit room and event space. This resulted in an empty room for most of the time. The studio looks for a design that will give identity to the space.
The trolley is uniquely New York and a memory of lower Manhattan, when it was dockyards and loading district. The design concept is to create a series of adaptable furniture with the trolleys.
The design journey began by examining the inherent qualities of these trolleys and how they are used on a daily basis. Used both upright and at other times reclined position, this bipolar characteristic presented the opportunity to design a furniture series that could also have multiple personalities.
For example, a piece that functions as a two-seater sofa in its reclined position may transform into a coat rack for an event when it's upright. When a piece is in one posture, one can notice subtle hints that it can be used in another stance. This exploration resulted in 12 pieces of multi-purpose portable furniture. A side table turns into a lectern. A bar unit has two position for high or low counter services.
Built of metal for durability, a color palette adapted from Le Corbusier's Chandigarh gives a punch of energy to an all white space.